We’re all getting over being sick. And by “all” I mean Andrew and myself, although both kids have been cranky and coughing for the past few weeks, so maybe them too.
It’s hard to tell with them. If they don’t have fevers, I watch their behaviors. Words are no help – Isaac doesn’t have the skills to say how he’s doing, and Kai has so many words but not quite enough experience to pick the right one. “My throat hurts,” he’ll say which sounds promising, but then he follows with, “which is why I have EXTRA energy today!” and then it’s all meaningless.
A first, with this bout of illness. I was laying on the couch, eyes closed, trying to cat nap while Sponge Bob blared on the TV, Kai talked loudly to his new imaginary friend, San Fawango, and Isaac stimmed while pacing in an oval in front of the couch. Isaac bent over my face, and said, “Mommy’s sick.” He was just repeating what I’d been telling him all day, and I expected him to then ask for sausage or Cheerios or anything as long as I got up and started acting like Mommy again…but instead he leaned in close, and kissed my forehead. Then he went back to his oval.
This means my autistic tween has officially been the nicest to me when I’m sick than anyone in my household.
Okay, this is not entirely fair to Andrew. The problem is that Andrew and I “sick” differently. Andrew keeps going until he truly cannot without passing out, and then he holes up in our room, in the dark, and sleeps until he is well enough to keep going again. He does not want tea, or soup, or sympathy. He wants to keep going, and then sleep in a dark hole, and then keep going some more.
I want to rest. I want to put my feet up with tea and a book or TV. If I have to be sick, I at least want to enjoy “not working”. I want people when they walk by to say “how are you doing, sweetheart?” and me to say “a little better” or “the same” and then they should offer to bring me tea or soup. I want to keep my days and my nights separate – awake but resting during the day, sleeping at night for my usual sleeping time.
I’m not saying my way is better. It’s just what I want to do when I”m sick.
The problem is, Kai certainly and Andrew subconsciously feel that if I am awake during the day, then I am well enough to keep going. In order to get the rest I need, I feel like I have to hole up in our room, in the dark, alone, and I don’t want to do that…but if I”m on the couch, awake, I’m signaling to half my family that I’m available. I should be capable of emptying the dishwasher, or making snacks.
But my Isaac. He gets it. Mommy’s sick = kiss on forehead, and leave alone. At least I have one on my side.